Coon Rapids man charged in armed carjacking outside Cub Foods

A man accused of an armed carjacking outside a Cub Foods in Blaine has been charged. 

Justin Michael Kittleson, 20, of Coon Rapids, is charged with first-degree aggravated robbery and second-degree assault in connection to the Sept. 24 incident at the Northtown Mall in which he's accused of shooting at a man who was trying to protect his daughter during the carjacking.

According to the criminal complaint, police responded to the Cub Foods at 585 Northtown Drive NE in Blaine to investigate an armed carjacking at 2:25 p.m. on Sept. 24. The victims, a 40-year-old woman and her60-year-old father, went to Cub Foods. The woman parked her vehicle in front of the store and noticed a man wearing a sweatshirt with the word "Runtz" on it, black jeans and tennis shoes. She was concerned about his demeanor and appearance because his hooded sweatshirt was pulled tight and he was wearing a black face mask. 

As she loaded groceries in her vehicle, the man, later identified as Kittleson, grabbed her, spun her around and pointed a gun in her face, charges said. Her father intervened and got into a struggle with Kittleson, during which Kittleson fired a round at the man and then closed the trunk, fleeing in the vehicle. 

A spent 9mm casing was found on the ground near the altercation. 

Blaine Police on Sept. 28 asked for the public's help identifying the man. The complaint says police from Sept. 24-Sept. 29 used GPS warrants, Facebook warrants, surveillance video, prior police contacts and reports from citizens to identify Kittleson as the suspect. Authorities also conducted a search of Kittleson's home, where they found the sweatshirt the suspect was wearing, two guns, including a black Polygun that didn't have a serial number, and a "significant quantity of narcotics."

The stolen vehicle has not been located, police said Friday. 

Kittleson made his first court appearance on Sept. 30. He has an omnibus hearing scheduled for Oct. 19 at 1 p.m., court records show.